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How old is the ILST course?

How old is the national ILST training course? Our troop has been doing some version of leadership course (it is called Greenbar training) every year for dozens and dozens of years. A couple years ago, when ILST became required for NYLT, we made sure that our Greenbar training also includes everything from ILST and now make sure that our youth’s training records get credited for ILST. I am curious to see how many years we might have been using our own syllabus when there was a nationally developed syllabus that was available.

It was introduced in 2011
The current version is dated July 2018

It kinda depends on what you’re comparing your syllabus with. TLT (predecessor to ILST) had been around since the early 2000’s, and JLT preceded it (back into the 1990’s?). I know TLT had a 3-module curriculum (It’s scanned and on my computer somewhere). I believe JLT also had a curriculum, but I could be wrong about that. I don’t think I have a copy of that around anywhere.

JLT had a syllabus and videos.
Calling youth leader training “Green Bar” training comes from the earlier days of Scouting. Training was often an overnight campout only for the PLC. The ‘green bars’ are the two or three green bars on the Patrol Leader and Sr. Patrol Leader badges of office.

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Green Bars

“green bar” are used to identify

  • assistant patrol leaders (APL),
  • patrol leaders (PL)
  • assistant senior patrol leaders (ASPL)
  • senior patrol leaders (SPL)

As noted in a previous post, you can still see them included in the badage of office. (In Canada, back in the 1960s they were while bars on a dark green sheet.) So “green bar training” should be interpreted as patrol leader training.

The Boy Scouts of America. 1964. Boy Scout Handbook. Sixth ed. Book. edited by William Hillcourt: Boy Scouts of America Inc., p 22, has the folllowing “green bar” images:

  • APL: single green bar
  • PL: two green bars
  • ASPL: first class Scout emblem over two green bars
  • SPL: first class Scout emblem over two and a half bars

Local Traditions can continure

Many councils’ traditions include unique names for their course. For example, JLT is known as “Baden-Powell Camp” in Cincinnati’s Dan Beard Council and as “Silver Pathfinder” in St. Paul’s Indianhead Council. It’s “Powderhorn” in the Milwaukee County Council and “Brownsea” in the Coronado Area Council in Salina, Kan.

“We want council courses to continue those types of traditions, because they add to the flavor of the training,” said John Alline, a member of the course development team.

A New Vision of Youth Leadership (scoutingmagazine.org), by Robert Vernon, in Scouting magazine, October 2004, ©2004 Boy Scouts of America.


I did JLT at Camp Tahquitz around 1972. So it was around at least then. There was a curriculum, but I have no documents. I do have the neckerchief. Nice big plaid thing that is actually useful.

TLT was the precursor to ILST in which came out in 2010.

There was a confusingly titled Troop Junior Leader Training that predated TLT. This JLT shouldn’t be confused with the “real” JLT that was 1 week long.

JLT was the precursor to NYLT in 2005.


A little history (probably more than what the original poster was looking for):

The 1990 Edition—The Scoutmaster Handbook (1990-1998) (aka the Eighth Edition) describes how the Scoutmaster trains Junior Leaders using the Junior Leader Training Kit (No. 3422) which is a binder with a video. [I actually remember using this, yea, I’m that old…] It goes on to mention the Councils’ Junior Leader Training Conference JLTC (in AZ we called that “Silver Axe”,) and the National Junior Leader Instructor Camp, NJLIC, at Philmont.


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